Saudi king to Trump: Confident you can advance Israeli-Palestinian peace
MANDEL NGAN (AFP)
Saudi King Salman told U.S President Donald Trump that he trusts Trump's ability to make a historic peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, Saudi's foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir said at a press conference alongside his US counterpart, Rex Tillerson.
The Saudis are willing to help such reconciliation, Jubeir said at the meeting on Saturday. Saudi Arabia currently does not recognize the Jewish state as there are no diplomatic relations between the two.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict was a central issue on the agenda in the meeting between Salman and Trump, Jubeir added. The king remains optimistic about the prospect of peace, despite nearly 25 years of a peace process that has failed to reach fruition.
Trump arrived in Saudi Arabia this morning on his inaugural foreign trip abroad.
Last week, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states were reported to have made a proposal offering normalization with Israel if its government froze settlement construction in the West Bank, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The WSJ report said that Arab countries would install direct telecommunication lines with Israel and allow Israeli airlines to fly over their airspace, as well as issue visas to Israeli athletes and businessmen, in exchange for a moratorium on construction outside the settlement blocs.
The US was consulted in drafting the proposal, Haaretz reported.
The president has previously express a desire to "reach the ultimate deal" and usher in an elusive peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
Trump will arrive in Israel and the Palestinian-majority West Bank on Monday for a two-day visit, where he will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Abbas, as well as visit Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
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"Palestinian-majority West Bank" is an interesting and novel description of the Palestinian Authority. Did you adopt this language because he will also visit Israeli settlements on the West Bank?
What serious compromises will the Muslim world offer after Taqiyya?